Happy April Fools day.
I hope you escape the day without some clown hoodwinking you into believing something fanciful to the point of severe embarrassment.
Well, it's two years today since normal life went to custard and Judy's breast cancer returned with a vengeance.
Two years of an unimaginable roller coaster that began on April 1st in the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen. It seems like much longer, and that's a good thing because clearly we're packing a lot in to life.
Even Dr Rob, Judy's oncologist remarked just the other day that it was around four years ago we first met him. He looked incredulous when I corrected him.
There have been many things in that time that are truly worth being pissed off about, but they are far outnumbered by the many things to be thankful for.
I hate statistics, and in particular survivability statistics. Given this, I'm smugly thankful that on anniversaries such as this we get to thumb our nose at cancer and its damn survivability stats.
Some tragically fall to the ravages of this bloody disease fast, and others miraculously slowly, and statisticians can't resist trying to simplify and generalise this into percentage survival over various time frames. They love it.
Stats do have their place, but they mean nothing but worry in the context of an individual circumstance.
Survivability stats are useless if you happen to be someone who survives for twenty years because of whatever good reason. That's a kind of survival that brings tantalising optimism, not gloom over the median survival for stage 4 breast cancer being around two years. So with an eye on twenty, fuck you, cancer, the median of two years is under her belt and here's to plenty more years ahead.
"Every day more is a blessing."
Survivability will have aspects of the specific attributes of the disease, treatment quality, aspects of self awareness, aspects of genetic luck, aspects of circumstantial luck, aspects of ...
You get the idea. It's complex and unpredictable.
Looking back at the ups and terrifying downs traveled on Judy's roller coaster track so far this doesn't surprise me. You've only got to have one treatment option go badly, or a spot fire get nasty, or some random life event and things can get dicey real quick. Cancer seems to continually remind us of the human frailty that is living.
I feel that getting Judy this far, and so well is no accident.
Looking back I am thankful for Dr Rob. What a wonderful man. What a cancer fighting machine. What a calm, confident and compassionate rock in our lives. An absolute teary-eyed and whole-bodied bear-hugged thank you, mate.
Looking back I am thankful for the experiences. We've embraced "Fuck it, let's go" to the full, as Judy loves adventuring, and it does wonders for her state of mind. Thank you to the many places we've been, the many characters we have met, and the stories lived together that will be cherished forever.
Looking back I am thankful for those that took burden off our plate. In the early times when we could barely think of feeding ourselves, a group of superb human beings kept us fed, and fed most well, and wouldn't take no for an answer. They just did it.
Looking back I am thankful for you all. Our friends. Your support brings so many smiles to Judy's face. So many happy tears. So much joy. Thank you all so very much for your support and kindness, and just for being there.
Looking back I am thankful for our beautiful twin sons. They have helped immensely in supporting their mum, each other, and me through arduous times and glorious times. Both Judy and I are immensely proud of the men that they have become.
And looking back I am thankful for the love of my life. We complete each other. Words are inadequate when I even attempt to describe what it is to be living the story of us. I love you way more than any words could convey.
I do so love you.
And back to this day. This most fucking deceitful of days. Being thankful flies headwind into this particular day of the year. This awful April Fools anniversary.
I'm a fairly gullible sort. I take many things at face value and tend towards inherently trusting people and situations. Accordingly, I have fallen for quite a few April Fools gags over the years.
On this day two years ago, cancer returning into our lives wasn't one of them, though. Oh, how I wish it were.
That April Fools there were no gags.
So, did Judy get me an April Fools beauty today? As night follows day, and as assuredly as I am gullible. We're still very much alive, after all, and full of life, and smiles, and laughter, and love.
Full of life, thanks to many.